Sunday, December 26, 2021

We Do A Little Trolling

    With family over in Miami, today was a perfect day to go on a fishing trip I had been planning for a while. My uncle Shlome and aunt Annette were in town and, with time on our hands, we went on a charter with Chasin Finz, one on which I had previously caught fish with Dod Shlome a few years ago. The three of us and my brother Jacob got on board in Hollywood at around 8 AM, eager to head out and catch some fish. The weather was perfect, with sunny skies and temperature in the low 80s. The boat had been renovated since Shlome and I had last been on it. Captain Josh was not on the boat this time, but Captain Peter and deckhand Nick were awesome.

    We spent the day trolling with strips of baitfish and spoons on 4 lines; two attached to outriggers, and two with planers that kept the bait deeper that were set up on the stern. We were trying to catch whatever would bite, but specifically were expecting fish like Blackfin Tuna, Wahoo, and Sailfish, as winter is the best time to catch them in Miami. However, there is always the possibility of catching other fish like Mahi Mahi, which are generally better in the summer. While the conditions were nice for us on the boat - the water wasn't even rocky at all - it was a slow day of fishing. When trolling, you drive the boat while pulling bait through the wake in the back of the boat. Because of this, we spent most of the time playing the waiting game. We were not the only ones not catching fish, either; there were lots of boats on the water that morning, but nobody was reporting any catches on the radio. Captain Peter's spots are, like most charter captains, tested by time. With the time we had this morning, we were going to drive north in zig zags over ledges; fish are often found under them, waiting for unwitting baitfish to swim over them while they hide next to the ledge. We spent the day doing this, but found no luck. We were marking fish on the radar, but they just were not biting.

    At the end of the trip, we decided to make a pass by a large shipping vessel in hopes of finding any fish underneath it. Lots of fish from all over the food chain are often attracted to any kind of structure they could find, so we were hopeful that we'd be able to erase the skunk at this vessel. Sure enough, while Basket Case by Green Day started playing on the speaker (a song that was stuck in my brother's head), the reel started to go off. I took the rod and steadily reeled in the fish. It was a False Albacore! They are also called Little Tunny or Bonita (not to be confused with Atlantic Bonito). While not a big fish, and generally not regarded as a quality eating fish despite being a part of the Tuna family (it's bloody and has a fishy taste - it takes much more effort to take good meat from the fish), it was a fun catch. We were at least going to finish the trip on a high note, and with a new species for me.

    All in all, it was a very fun trip with both Dod Shlome and Doda Annette (and my brother), who I appreciate having taken me fishing for years before I got my drivers license. Since one lives in LA and one in Miami, we never had the opportunity to go fishing together before. While it's a shame we couldn't come away with the Mahi, Blackfin Tuna, or Sailfish that we really wanted, we each had a great time on a perfect morning to be out on the water with Chasin Finz - with a cool False Albacore to boot.